Signs Your Bookkeeper Is Hurting Your Business

Bookkeepers are trusted to take care of the financial details of small businesses. Business owners rely on them to keep track of cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable... Buying a copy of QuickBooks and entering data does not make someone a bookkeeper. All to often I have witnessed businesses struggling with cash flow issues only to learn that bank accounts have never been reconciled, transactions never entered and the business was flying by the seat of their pants when it came to knowing where they stood financially. How could someone expect to have smooth sailing without keeping an eye on the books?

The answer usually is that the business owner trusts the person hey delegated the responsibility to without questioning what was going on and/or not knowing how they were suppose to check on an area they are not comfortable or familiar with. It's easier for them to say "they are handling it and I trust them."

One prospective client claimed that he couldn't afford me. I offered to take a look at his books and point out some possible cost savings to prove I was worth the money. It didn't take long to point out that he was paying over $3,000 per month in overdraft bank fees which was a surprise to him. His wife was doing the books and she didn't want to upset him. What upset him was the fact that they were bankrupt and he had no idea it was that bad. They were out of business within the year and it may have been avoided.

There are some obvious warning signs that you might have a problem. Here are 10 signs your bookkeeper is hurting your business:
 They don't communicate with you
  • They don't communicate with your accountant
  • They are not up to date
  • They don't reconcile all of your bank accounts and credit card statements
  • They don't know exactly what is owed to you
  • They don't know exactly what you owe to vendors
  • They are always sick
  • They have a lot of personal issues
  • They have little or no experience
  • your bookkeeper is you
 Be pro-active in your business. Successful business owners have an ongoing dialog with their accountant and bookkeeper. Sort of a mini-MasterMind group. Ask the right questions, IE where is my cash flow and how can I improve it, how do we look compared to last year.
Sloppy financials? Out of balance books? Don't know what your paying your accountant for? Are you tired of working 60-70 hours a week, not getting ahead and not knowing why?